A RuPaul’s Drag Race fan proposed to his boyfriend at DragCon in Los Angeles over the weekend. After fleeing homophobic abuse in the south, Alex Thornton and Christian Gomez moved to California to find a better and more welcoming community. The DragCon proposal happened at the end of the Committed Queens panel with Ginger Minj, Chad Michaels and Dusty Ray Bottoms. I was the moderator, and I called on Alex to ask a question when he started telling the emotional story of the pair’s coming to California before getting down on one knee.
The pair met online six years ago, and bonded over RuPaul’s Drag Race. “We were both fans of the show since the beginning,” Thornton tells Hornet. “I was a huge fan during season 1. We met during season 5 and that was one of the things we first connected over — our shared love of the show.”
They explain that living in Missisippi, watching Drag Race was one of the only outlets for queer expression. Then, one night, the homophobic culture of the south got to them, when they were taunted during a date night to the movies.
“After being together for almost a year, we went out on a date to see movie… Wolverine or something,” Gomez explains. “And we were holding hands and people started throwing popcorn at us and snickering. Saying comments. It was just really off-putting.”
The couple knew they had to leave. “We went home. And we had been talking about moving away from Mississippi. Christian picked Orlando because he had a lot friends down there and I picked the Bay Area because I knew it was open-minded there. We flipped a quarter. Heads Bay Area, tails Orlando. And I won. A month later, we high-tailed it, slept on floors and Airbnbs until we found a place.”